Burros come together for cystic fibrosis

Burros come together for cystic fibrosisTrevor and Taylor Frisbee (center) are flanked by members of BHS?Avid. — Photo by Logan Allen

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By LOGAN ALLEN, Burroughs Blockbuster

The Burroughs High School community is coming together to support one of its own.

Groups on campus are gearing up for the Dec. 1 Great Strides Walk for cystic fibrosis at Cerro Coso Community College.

This annual event has been going on for 12 years in order to promote awareness of cystic fibrosis and raise funds to help find a cure.

Burroughs students have taken an active role in the event for several years, and now it is part of an ongoing tradition that has raised over $12,000 since 2011 through donations from coin drives, funds from Boo and Gobble Grams sold through AVID and various other fundraisers set up through school organizations.

As in years past, Burroughs alumnus Bob Eichenberg has once again generously offered to match student donations raised up to $1,500.

This year the walk and related fundraising efforts feel even more vital for participating students, who are eager to show their support for freshman Taylor Frisbee, who, along with her younger sister Isabella, has CF. Their older brother Trevor is a senior.

“To me, having the walk means that friends and people in the community are supporting my sister and me in trying to find a cure for cystic fibrosis,” said Taylor. “It has impacted me because I know my friends support me and that helps me get through the tough times with cystic fibrosis.”

Beyond her own appreciation, she sees the value of Great Strides on a larger scale as well.

“It’s important because it raises awareness of cystic fibrosis and the money raised goes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that funds research for new treatments and medications,” she said.

Students who participate, whether through the walk or participating in the class competition coin drive, are able to make a big difference with a small gesture.

The Burroughs AVID program is once again pushing for a strong participation from its members and the school as a whole.

“What we want the students to understand is the sense of community and how fun it is to take part in community service,” said AVID Teacher Ernestina Palerm Wilson. “Students learn about a cause and who they are directly affecting through their community service and participation.”

Members of CSF, NHS, Friends of Rachel, the Burroughs Band and other student groups typically join in the event.

“The biggest takeaway is seeing the support everyone gives and how many others are willing to go out and help contribute to a great cause,” said Junior Caroline Pillers.

Along with a sense of camaraderie, the event also sparks a sense of friendly competition as students race to collect the most money in the annual coin drive.

Last year, Science Teacher Melanie Branson’s classes pulled ahead, and they are ready to continue their victory.

Branson is a strong supporter of the cause.

“There’s still so much research that needs to be done so it really needs to be funded,” she said. “I know some people with cystic fibrosis, so I love to support them.”

Because cystic fibrosis is considered an “orphan disease” affecting fewer than 200,000 people nationwide, its research efforts do not receive as much financial support or coverage as, say, cancer.

That’s where the BHS effort to raise funds and awareness comes in.

“I really hope that they are able to find better ways to make their life better,” said Branson.

Participating in the event has been an eye-opener for Wilson, who typically walks the 5K worth of laps with her son and AVID students.

“I have learned a lot more detailed information about the effects of cystic fibrosis and what we can do to continue to fund the research and have met many Ridgecrest residents who live with cystic fibrosis every day,” said Wilson.

“It’s inspiring to see how their families come together each year to help fundraise and educate people about the genetic disease.”

Students who are interested in participating in the walk should arrive at 9:30 a.m. for registration. The event begins at 10 a.m..

The coin collection continues through Nov. 30.

Story First Published: 2018-11-21